Mediterranean style is understated and effortless. It’s dreamy, boho, seemingly just thrown together and oh-so-cool. Of course the sun, sea and carefree attitude will do this to your wardrobe. But add the undeniable fashion consciousness of Marbella and out pops a unique luxury beach vibe.
This season, there are multiple options on how to create that effortless style without letting go of the fashion- forward luxury brands. Spanish label BDBA’s 2015 range is all inspired by the ‘warm and colourful waters of the Mediterranean.’ The essence of sun, sea and sand gives life to long diaphanous dresses, distressed jackets and coral-inspired designs. BDBA fits the boho-beach babe perfectly, offering outfits for any occasion whether it’s beachside, on the dance floor or at the dinner table.
Moving onto the beach is an international label that is making waves on the fashion stage. Mara Hoffman is a New York City-based designer who started ten years ago with hand-dyed, batiked and one-of-a-kind items. Her signature bold prints have been developed over the course of five years and the Mara Hoffman swimsuit collection was launched in 2008. Drawing inspiration from her passion for world travel, nature, mythology and magic, the pieces ooze boho-chic mingling high-end designer quality with a Mediterranean feel.
If being boho is not your thing, then worry not. The Costa del Sol has something to offer for the global fashionista as well. Marbellis like to dress up and are very brand-conscious. Marbella, Puerto Banus and their surroundings are brimming with designer stores. While Missoni, Hermès, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and friends all have a presence, even locally-owned boutiques (like Elite Stores and Gomina) are go-to meccas for the likes of Roberto Cavalli, Moschino, Victoria Beckham, Miu Miu and Prada and more. Indeed, the fashion that hits the shores of Marbella and Puerto Banus is the same as New York, London, Paris, Milan and cities around the world.
So, what does the luxury brand fan wear on the beach? Whatever colour or style, it has to be a swimsuit that fits in all the right places and makes you feel a million dollars. Swimwear brand Eres does this very well and has a store in Puerto Banus. The summer 2015 range is classic yet interesting with some quirky cut-out details and contrasting graphic bands that give structure to the body. For a more cutting-edge swimsuit that’s on trend, full of colour and has a healthy dose of sexiness, Agent Provocateur’s swimwear range offers bright and alluring bathing suits in varying degrees of daring. The Mazzy range is particularly striking, perfect for posing around the pool.
Though Marbella is home to international brands, there is a dash of unmistakable Spanish style that is refined, conservative and, well, dressy. Think lace gowns and grown-up elegance. Malaga, just down the road from Marbella, is an old town proving its worth on the style front. The city is proud of its home- grown couturiers and has its own fashion week to show them off. Designers like Miguel Angel Ruiz, Susana Hidalgo and Gemma Melli form the backbone of Malagan fashion and its fashion week, held every September.
Regarded as the main women’s fashion event in Malaga and one of the most important in Spain, designers send models down the longest catwalk in Europe, along the covered Calle Larios, in grand gowns that mirror a nation of ladies who really care about the way they dress.
Malaga Fashion Week, image courtesy of Visit Costa del Sol
A visit to the Costa del Sol means dressing up. In town, luxurious gowns, heels and full makeup are not just reserved for a night out, but normal daily attire. At beach clubs in Puerto Banus and Marbella, get your designer glad rags on. If the beach is your main inspiration, then feel free to kick off the heels and embrace the beach babe within, but make sure you do it with style. It is true that anything goes on the Costa del Sol but it must ooze quality and it has to hit the trend notes at the highest end of the scale.
BDBA available online at www.bdba.com and at El Corte Inglés Malaga (see map below)